Notes 6/9: Meanwhile, Do You Have Bitcoin Insurance?

Do you think you can outlive Bitcoin – an asset whose precarious existence hinges on the machinations of an unregulated algorithmic stablecoin and regulators wrangling over its status? If yes, you should put your holdings of the cryptocurrency to work in a bitcoin life insurance from Meanwhile.

The insurance startup is practically drenched in buzzwords: crypto, artificial intelligence, digital assets… you name it, they’ve got it. It even has Sam Altman – tech’s man of the moment – as one of its backers.

But that’s not the main draw.

All In On Bitcoin

As someone who ardently believes in bitcoin, you have to appreciate the fact that the insurance startup does all of its calculations in bitcoin. According to founder Zach Townsend, premiums are collected in bitcoin. Claims are handed out in bitcoin. Reserves are maintained in bitcoin. What about bitcoin’s quicksilver price volatility, you ask? Bitcoin…err…Meanwhile don’t care.

Considering crypto’s declining liquidity, you might wonder about the product’s target audience. That part is a bit confusing. According to its founder, bitcoin insurance is meant for long term holders of the cryptocurrency who want to put their tokens to work earning yield.

But he also told Fortune that it is for those who want to pass on bitcoin to their “surviving loved ones” after their death. Considering the steep cliffs of bitcoin price and its risk-on, risk -off status, it might be an idea to keep a bottle of cyanide on your nightstand to pop off, and maximize profits, at just the right time.

In case you are wondering about its regulatory status, rest assured. It is based in Bermuda – a crypto haven which has hosted thriving crypto businesses that offer institutional grade products and that minimize portfolio risk like perpetual futures.

Guaranteeing Growth

On its website, Meanwhile guarantees growth in your investment. Again, you may wonder how this is possible in an illiquid ecosystem that is constantly under threat from regulators. Simple. It will lend your hard-earned bitcoin to other companies that offer interest.

Doesn’t that make it a crypto lending firm like bankrupt Celsius? Yes, but unlike Celsius, Meanwhile will only lend out your money to “credit worthy institutions”. How many such institutions exist in crypto is an open question. There were many earlier, like Genesis, Celsius, Three Arrows Capital. But they are all dead or bankrupt.

Don’t let that worry you, however. There are tax benefits if you buy into this grift. The insurance product is aimed at US citizens and their “tax situation”, according to its website. Never mind that the IRS taxes crypto price changes as capital gains.

After doing something about the tax situation of Americans, Meanwhile has rid itself of its responsibility with a disclaimer that they are not tax accountants and that you, the customer, are responsible for obtaining your legal and tax advice.

Meanwhile (the word and not the startup), get in line stat! The waitlist is filling up fast and there are…um…dozens of people ahead of you, according to Townsend.

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